Shining Force II (シャイニング・フォースII 古えの封印 Shainingu Fōsu Tsū: Inishie no Fūin?, lit. "Shining Force II: The Ancient Seal"), is a tactical role-playing game for the Mega Drive/Genesis console developed by Sonic! Software Planning in 1993. The storyline is not directly connected to the original Shining Force, although a Game Gear title Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict links the two games' plots.
The game is much longer than the first, and more free-roaming. There is no chapter system, so the player can return to previously visited parts of the world. There are also two different ways of promoting many characters.
Shining Force II is a tactical role-playing game. The player assumes the role of the Shining Force leader, Bowie. When not in combat, the player can explore towns and other locales, talk with people, and set the members and equipment of the army. Some towns have a headquarters where the player can inspect and talk with his allies. While roaming through town or moving throughout the world, one can find both visible and hidden treasures and interact with certain objects.
Each ally unit is represented by a character with a background and personality. Some of these characters are hidden, requiring specific events to occur before they will join the force. Each ally unit also has a class, which defines the abilities for that unit. These abilities range from what type of weapons they can use to what kind of spells they can learn. Units can become stronger by fighting enemies and performing various actions which gives them experience points (EXP), which allow them to gain levels. Once a unit reaches level 20, that character has the ability to advance to more powerful class through promotion. Some characters have two different classes they may be promoted to, one of which is only accessible using a special hidden item.
Battles take place on a square grid, and each unit occupies a single square. Battle is turn-based. Each turn, a character can move and perform one action: either attack, cast a spell, or use an item. Some commands, such as equipping or dropping an item during the turn, do not count as actions.
The battle is won if all enemies are defeated, or if the enemy commander is defeated. If Bowie is defeated in combat or withdraws, the battle is lost and the player is returned to the nearest town, where he can recover his allies and fight the same battle again.
In a shrine south of Granseal Castle, a thief named Slade unwittingly breaks the power of a magic seal by stealing the jewels of Light and Darkness; this unseals the demon king Zeon trapped therein. The following day, King Granseal falls sick when he is attacked by an unknown creature and Sir Astral, the court's advisor, along with his apprentices, Bowie the squire, Sarah the healer and Chester the knight, investigate these events at the castle. They find that the door to the Tower of Ancients has been unlocked and stands open.
Greeting their arrival in the tower are devils named "Gizmos" springing forth to attack, though their ultimate intentions are unknown. Upon their defeat, the Gizmo that appears to be the leader flees. It is discovered thereafter to have possessed King Granseal. Sir Astral and the nascent Shining Force visit the king, finding him possessed. Sir Astral exorcises the demon, which promptly flees. The Minister, in place of King Granseal who is looking over a fainted Astral, then orders the slaying of the Gizmo by a platoon of Granseal's soldiers.
When the true danger of the opened door is realized, the Shining Force must fight against the invading armies of Zeon to find the Holy Sword and the stolen jewels so that they may once again defeat and reseal the Devil King Zeon in Arc Valley.